Some minor but annoying eye trouble means I'm mostly confined to audiobooks right now. I've read one of Krueger's books in paper format and listened t...moreSome minor but annoying eye trouble means I'm mostly confined to audiobooks right now. I've read one of Krueger's books in paper format and listened to two. Either way, he's excellent and I don't know why I waited so long to read his books. In Purgatory Ridge, a convoluted tale with multiple villains (some more villainous than others) climaxes with protagonist Cork O'Connor and some of his loved ones pitted against both man and nature near and in Lake Superior. Not to be missed. The reader is excellent as well.(less)
Jacqueline Winspear's got her groove back with this one. I started it with some trepidation as I didn't care much for the previous book, Elegy for Edd...moreJacqueline Winspear's got her groove back with this one. I started it with some trepidation as I didn't care much for the previous book, Elegy for Eddie. Although Maisie is still engaging in a lot of inner dialogue about her wishes and motivations, she does seem to be moving forward, and the plot was as twisty and turny as anyone could wish. As in all the Maisie Dobbs books, the aftereffects of World War I are still being felt, and not only the coming war (still several years in the future) but the end of British colonialism are being foreshadowed. Recommended.(less)
Had I been on the awards committee, I might well have voted for this book rather than for the actual medalist, A Single Shard. I certainly enjoyed rea...moreHad I been on the awards committee, I might well have voted for this book rather than for the actual medalist, A Single Shard. I certainly enjoyed reading it. Could it be that the heroine's Dickensian name (Primrose Squarp) took a few points off? And then, the Newbery Medals are for American books -- and although presumably Polly Horvath is a citizen or permanent resident of the US, she set her book in British Columbia. And the book is SO DARN CANADIAN -- which is a big part of its charm. Oh, it starts out like any other "problem book" for kids, with Primrose's parents lost at sea and her fate in the hands of the town council. But almost immediately funny things start happening, and Primrose never loses hope, and you realize this is not going to be another problem story. The setting, a fishing village in BC, is filled with characters who would be right at home in Cicely, Alaska. The only villain in the piece is, of course, a British aristocrat. All's well that ends well, and it's a fun way to spend a few hours. Kids can even try some of the recipes that end each chapter. Highly recommended.(less)
Everyone's looking for Shiloh, a country singer with some Anishinabe roots who's been taking some time for reflection in the Boundary Waters of northe...moreEveryone's looking for Shiloh, a country singer with some Anishinabe roots who's been taking some time for reflection in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. The only man who knows where she is has disappeared. Her estranged father wants to hire ex-sheriff Cork O'Connor to look for her. Two other powerful men claiming to be Shiloh's biological father have also come to Iron Lake; one is mob-connected, the other has men he says are FBI agents. Shiloh's mother, a childhood friend of O'Connor's, was murdered many years ago and some people hope -- or fear -- that therapy has helped Shiloh recall that event and that she can identify her mother's killer.
Cork ends up on a wilderness expedition with Shiloh's official father, Anishinabe Stormy and his ten-year-old son Louis, and two of the supposed FBI men. Meanwhile, Cork's wife Jo, (it's complicated) is back in Iron Lake trying to investigate the conflicting tales told by a mobster and the FBI man who have both come to town in search of Shiloh.
Just when you think you have it figured out, Krueger gets you lost in the woods again. The setting is described with love, and the characters are nuanced and anything but stereotypes. Cork O'Connor is a strong protagonist. I look forward to reading or listening to the rest of this excellent series. Highly recommended.(less)
received an ARC of this book in late June from the author in a random drawing. It's taken me this long to write this review not because I didn't read...morereceived an ARC of this book in late June from the author in a random drawing. It's taken me this long to write this review not because I didn't read it right away -- I did. I think it was the subject matter -- adoption and foster care -- that blocked me. You see, one of my duaghters has been fostering a baby girl from the age of ten days. On September 6, the adoption became final and I'm now officially a grandmother. So I can heave a sigh of relief and talk a bit about The Wrong Girl.
We met reporter Jane Ryland, who had recently moved from TV journalism to print, in the thrilling The Other Woman. She's very interested in Boston police detective Jake Brogan, and he in her, but both realize the potential ethical conflicts and are playing it cool for now. As Jane tries to help her erstwhile deskmate Tuck find her birthmother, Jake is investigating the murder of a young woman found in an apartment with two small children-- and evidence of a possible third. Then, people at the adoption agency that handled Tuck's adoption start turning up dead. With many twists and turns, some truly firghtening scenes, and just enough romance, Ryan keeps the reader guessing till the end. Hank Philippi Ryan's day job as an investigative reporter lends the ring of truth to Jane's efforts to solve the mystery. Highly recommended.(less)
I hold fantasy to a very high standard, so I read very little of it and am always thrilled when I discover a new writer who meets my standards. That h...moreI hold fantasy to a very high standard, so I read very little of it and am always thrilled when I discover a new writer who meets my standards. That happened several years back when I read a review of Naomi Novik's first Temeraire novel. The premise -- what if the Napoleonic Wars had been fought with the addition of dragon air forces -- is an excellent catalyst for both exciting action and thoughtful rumination.
Blood of Tyrants, announced as the penultimate book in the series, opens with aviator Will Laurence cast ashore in Japan after a shipwreck, alone and partially amnesiac. In his mind he is still a naval officer with only the vaguest acquaintance with dragons. Rescued by a Japanese nobleman, he is then held prisoner -- for the Japanese do not want foreigners in their country and particularly distrust the British for their alliance with China. Meanwhile, back on the dragon transport, Temeraire, also injured, is consumed with anxiety for his beloved Captain Laurence.
As in the earlier books, Will and Temeraire cover a lot of ground in Blood of Tyrants, winding up in Russia as Napoleon invades Moscow. I happen also to be re-reading War and Peace right now, and I must say the military passages in Tolstoy would be a lot easier to get through if Lev Nikolaevich had had dragons.
Once again, Novik has delivered a fine mixture of history and fantasy mixed with ideas about friendship, freedom, and personal honor. I shall be sorry to see this series end. Highly recommended.(less)
Another fine time-travel romance from the author of Mariana. At first I was afraid this book would be a repeat of Mariana, since it begins with a simi...moreAnother fine time-travel romance from the author of Mariana. At first I was afraid this book would be a repeat of Mariana, since it begins with a similar premise -- woman comes to an old house and begins being transported back to another time. In this case, the house is in Cornwall and Eva, the heroine, is unpredictably set down from time to time in 1715, when smugglers and Jacobites were at odds with George I and the local constabulary. Eva becomes more and more involved with the people in the past, and just when the readers despairs of her resolving the situation, an intriguing plot twist wraps it all up. Kearsley is one of those authors one wishes were a bit more prolific -- happy to see she has a new book out. If you like Diana Gabaldon and would enjoy a similar tale, but one a bit milder in the sex and violence area and a lot shorter, I recommend Susanna Kearsley. (Note: I actually listened to this book on Audible; the reading was excellent as well.)(less)
I doubt that there will ever be ONE Great American Novel. America -- the land, the people, the idea -- is too big and too diverse to be represented by...moreI doubt that there will ever be ONE Great American Novel. America -- the land, the people, the idea -- is too big and too diverse to be represented by any one book. I do think there are several Great American Novels -- Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath,My Antonia, and The Great Gatsby spring immediately to mind -- and I now have a new candidate for that group. Helene Wecker uses the tale of two supernatural beings who find themselves in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City to illuminate the urban immigrant experience. In addition, she explores themes of free will, personal responsibility, community and individualism -- all while telling a mesmerizing story that puts the reader squarely into the Lower East Side circa 1900.
I listened to this book on Audible, ably narrated by George Guidall. You may prefer to read it in print or e-book form. No matter which format you choose, get this book. You won't be sorry. Don't wait for the movie (I don't know that there will be one, but I suspect it) -- read it now. (less)
I'm almost certain I read this book in its first publication under the author's other name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. So if you, like me, have a little tr...moreI'm almost certain I read this book in its first publication under the author's other name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. So if you, like me, have a little trouble remembering titles after 10 or more years have gone by, check before buying. However, if you haven't read the Callahan Garrity series by Trocheck, which are now being republished in paperback as by Mary Kay Andrews, you are in for a treat and I highly recommend it. All the great humor and characters you love in Andrews' books, with a little more detective work, and some urban grit since they're set in Atlanta.(less)